Heaven and Earth Moved? A Dot Release?

Release 3.1 (seems odd to say that, doesn’t it?) doesn’t fix that many bugs (about 15), but it’s significant in that it’s the first time I can remember a ‘dot’ release in the era of the Rapid Release Model (RRM).  It certainly addresses one of the biggest problems with the RRM:  What happens when the release has new bugs not in previous releases?  Do I have to wait 90 days to get it addressed?

I know there are many developers that have stuck with an older release simply because of bugs introduced with a newer version.  I was bitten by this problem in 2008 R2 where the error handling in Windows didn’t catch Nil Object Exceptions but because we were using one of the R2 introspection features we couldn’t revert.  Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.  Thankfully R3 was released sooner than the 90 days.  (Also, truth be told, it forced us to be very careful with code since it couldn’t be caught.)

From what I can tell, the only really big bug addressed with this release has something to do with the Einhugur plugin controls.  Strangely enough, that’s not in the release notes but I believe it was in the press release.  Go figure.  Other than that, most of the bugs fixed something new to this release and only a few seemed fairly serious.

Anyway, I’m pretty happy that Real decided to do an updated release.  I hope that this is more than an experiment (or an emergency) and they ‘plan’ for dot releases in the future.  I say ‘plan’ because no one wants to issue another release if they don’t have to.  But RB is a very large project and the Law of Unintended Consequences can certainly bite when you think you’re changing something minor.  **it happens sometimes.

The dot release also tells me that RS wants every release to be useable.  A good goal in my opinion and should alleviate a lot of the complaining about the Rapid Release Model.

What are your thoughts?